SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Kenya).

Kisumu is a port city in western Kenya, close to Lake Victoria. Nearly 400,000 people live here and it is growing rapidly as families move here in search of opportunity. Even though Kisumu is rich in natural resources, its once thriving industry has largely relocated to Nairobi or Mombasa. Many families live in poverty and have very limited access to employment and basic social services. There is a large number of children without parental care in the region.

Since 2010, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Kisumu.

Of families in Kisumu are poor

Unemployment and poverty

Most people in Kisumu make a living by growing their own food and going fishing, which makes for a very insecure livelihood. In the city, unemployment is high and most people seek to make a living through informal work. In both cases, Kenyans in the region often face a dire economic situation. In fact, up to 45% of families here live on less than 1 USD per day, meaning they cannot afford two meals a day. This is particularly dangerous for the youngest in the region as malnutrition and slow growth are far too common amongst children. Furthermore, in the ever-growing city of Kisumu, there is a widespread lack of sanitation and proper housing.

Of people in Kisumu are HIV positive

Prevalence of HIV/AIDS

Kisumu District is one of the areas in the country that is severely affected by HIV/AIDS. At an estimated 24%, HIV prevalence in the region is the highest in all of Kenya. Consequently, many children have lost parental care. When parents die young, this often means that a child, usually the oldest sibling, becomes the head of the family. These children then do everything they can to put food on the table, which usually means they drop out of education and work to try and raise some money. This creates a dangerous cycle of poverty for many children in the region.

Your support makes a difference for children in Kisumu

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Children in our care having fun playing together. Siblings grow up together, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Kenya).

How your support helps in Kisumu

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.